Northside 2016 Recap – Thursday

Northside 2016 kicked off in a big way with some great returns & great shows....
Northside

Northside 2016 Recap - Thursday

While other multi-venue ‘industry fests’ have fallen by the wayside, or were cancelled before they even started, Brooklyn’s Northside has only grown, including a full-fledged ‘Innovation’ portion that probably brings in far more money than Music. But music did come, Thursday-to-Sunday, June 9th-12th, to Williamsburg & Greenpoint:

 

 

McCarren Park

Land of Talk

Land of Talk

Elizabeth PowellClick image for full gallery

Northside’s biggest events every year are at McCarren Park, and to kick off Northside ’16 was the return of two Montreal favourites. First up was Land of Talk, a major QRO favourite (QRO spotlight on). Main woman Elizabeth Powell (QRO interview) disappeared from music in 2010-11, after issues with vocal polyps, and it’s just so great that she’s back, with a full band that includes original drummer Bucky Wheaton and husband-and-wife Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek of Besnard Lakes (QRO photos at a festival with Land of Talk).

The set itself was basically a shortened version of LoT’s recent Bowery Ballroom show (QRO review), leaning less on her new material (but there is a new album in the offing). The serious wind that day messed with the band somewhat, knocking over a guitar and putting others out of tune – Powell had to tune two guitars before one song, so Lasek could use one, and later he had to change a string. But Lizzie’s so charming, everyone forgave her…

Land of Talk + Besnard Lakes

 

Wolf Parade

Wolf Parade

Dan BoecknerClick image for full gallery

“Why isn’t this a paid show?” Many people were asking that – not to look the gift horse of a big free show in the mouth – with Wolf Parade playing the big space. The ‘Canadian Invasion’ alt-stars of the last decade had taken a serious hiatus while members pursued other projects (Handsome Furs, Sunset Rubdown, Divine Fits, Moonface, Operators, and more – QRO photos of Sunset Rubdown at Northside ’09QRO photos of Operators at Northside ’14), but only last month came back together for a run of five-count-‘em-five nights at Bowery (QRO review of first night), that sold out in seconds. Perhaps the free RSVP status of this show had to do with being in a city park (that was certainly why there was a cordoned of beer area far from the stage, though previous years McCarren didn’t have one), but whatever the reason, free Wolf Parade was certainly welcome to the crowd of hipsters from five-to-ten years ago.

Spencer KrugThis show was pretty much vintage Wolf, including many songs from breakthrough Apologies To Queen Mary to go with new ones (including the medley of new songs they had recently done on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), singer/guitarist Dan Boeckner jerking around like mad, and singer-keyboardist Spencer Krug fidgeting between standing and half-kneel on his stool (and trying to get a hand in the air whenever he could).

While hardly brand new acts (though they’re spring chickens compared to Friday & Saturday’s McCarren acts, Grandmaster Flash and Brian Wilson…), it was really wonderful to have these two bands back & in full form.

Wolf Parade

~

 

House of Vans

House of Vans

Click image for full gallery – Deborah Lowery

One advantage that Northside Festival has is that, being located in the north end of the borough, pretty much everything is in walking distance (i.e., the closest subway stop for everything is the Bedford Avenue station, where hipster-dom was born…), so could leave with Wolf Parade still ringing and head up to another great free show, at House of Vans (QRO venue review). Your correspondent still missed The Paranoyds and Sunflower Bean but photographer Deborah Lowery was there for them & more.

The Paranoyds

The Paranoyds

Click image for full gallery – Deborah Lowery

 

Sunflower Bean

Sunflower Bean

Click image for full gallery – Deborah Lowery

 

BADBADNOTGOOD

BADBADNOTGOOD

 

Click image for full gallery – Deborah Lowery

Only catching the tail end of BADBADNOTGOOD, was surprised at how punk the Canadian jazz band sounded. The Toronto group is better known for being experimental musicians, not to mention their collaboration with Ghostface Killah (QRO photos together). Perhaps it was the punk venue? Or the two giant cameras mounted on huge frames in the middle of the photo pit that blocked people out?

 

DIIV

DIIV

Click image for full gallery – Deborah Lowery

A few years removed from being the ‘hot new thing,’ DIIV still are youthful – perhaps a bit too youthful, joking about playing the “Vans Warped Tour” and Green Day bassist Tré Cool, but their sound was still indie-strong.

~

 

Other notes:

-First attended one of the Innovation panel discussions, because it had free drinks (and was near everything else). Still couldn’t tell you what the panel was actually talking about…

 

Unfortunately missed:

-Courtesy Tier (QRO album review) @ Bar Matchless (QRO venue review), 8:45 PM. For some reason Thursday at Northside was stacked, and QRO missed our local favorite (who also had the distinction of playing before when kicked-off-from-Northside-for-sympathizing-with-a-rapist Good English were supposed to perform).

 

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Concert Reviews